Ready, Set, Flow! Automated Continuous Synthesis and Optimization

Trends in Chemistry 3(5), 373-386, DOI: 10.1016/j.trechm.2021.02.005

Synthetic chemistry provides access to advanced materials that facilitate innovation in key industries such as medicine, energy, and agriculture. Automation is poised to challenge the traditional process of chemical synthesis and development. Continuous flow chemistry has recently come into maturity and provides a flexible platform amenable to automation. The merger of synthesis and automation promises to democratize access to custom complex small molecules for non-experts as well as accelerate the development of new synthetic protocols by relieving expert chemists of routine tasks. In this contribution, we discuss recent case studies that present strategies towards realizing automated synthesis with a further focus on works that leverage continuous flow chemistry as an enabling technology.